Volunteering with the council

Have your say on our volunteer guidelines

We are currently reviewing the guidelines we give to volunteers. If you would like to have your say in our survey, go to Volunteer guidelines review 2018.

Who can be a volunteer

Anyone who has spare time can volunteer. We already have volunteers of many different backgrounds, abilities and ages.

There is no upper age barrier, but volunteers must be over 14 years-old. For some roles you will need to be over 18 years-old – this will be included in the role description.

You can volunteer for as much or as little time as suits you. Sometimes it depends on the role you are doing, but mostly it depends on how much time you can give. It can be days, evenings, weekends or a mixture. We will say in the role description if you would be needed at specific times.

Volunteering with us will only cost you your time. Reasonable out of pocket expenses such as travel costs will be reimbursed as long as you have a valid receipt and agreement from your volunteer manager.

Most volunteer roles don't require qualifications but some may need certain skills – details will be included in the role description. Training will be provided, if needed.

You can volunteer whether you are working or claiming benefits. If you are claiming benefits you must tell your benefits adviser. If you are claiming Job Seeker's Allowance (JSA) you must still actively seek work and be available to start any opportunity.  Volunteering shouldn't affect your benefits as long as the only money you receive is reimbursement of expenses.

Criminal convictions must be declared in your application form. You will need to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check if your volunteer role involves access to young people or vulnerable adults – this will tell us if you have a criminal record. Having a record should not stop you from volunteering but it may limit what you can do.